BSAR is 70 years old

BSAR is 70 years old on 6th May 2019.

BSAR search group near Marysville, 1952
BSAR search group in 1952 near Marysville, soon after BSAR was formed

We don’t know the names or the clubs of the 11 volunteer bushwalkers who left the Russell Street Police Headquarters in 2 trucks early on Friday 6 May 1949 for Port Welshpool. There they boarded a fishing ketch and were landed on the east coast of Wilsons Promontory to join the large search for a missing bushwalker.

This was the first occasion volunteer bushwalkers organised through the Federation of Victorian Walking Clubs (now Bushwalking Victoria) assisted in a bush search.

Senior Police were very impressed with the skill and independence of these bushwalkers and encouraged the Federation to establish a formal search and rescue section. Several clubs made this a reality soon after this search when they formed the Federation of Victorian Walking Clubs Search and Rescue Section.

The newspapers of the time tell the story.

The search for Alfred Howie, a solo walker missing at Wilsons Promontory, commenced on 6 May 1949.  No trace of him was ever found.

In the early years, members were called out in response to a request for assistance from Victoria Police by a club-based telephone tree.  Searchers assembled at the Russell Street Police Headquarters in a basement hall.

The Police Search and Rescue Squad was formed in 1957.

Bush Search and Rescue Victoria

 

Search for missing walkers on Mount Buffalo

Mount Buffalo search

Sun 10 March:  Twelve BSAR volunteers were called out to a search for two missing walkers on Mount Buffalo.  Search tasks included walking tracks and prominent features.

Mon 11 March: An additional 22 BSAR volunteers joined the search.  The missing people were not located at the conclusion of the day.

Tue 12 March:  19 BSAR volunteers responded to a 3rd call-out and joined the search.  The missing people were located alive and well at around 11:30 am.  All BSAR members returned to Melbourne.

Our search tasks included easy walking tracks, large rock formations, alpine meadows, some peaks, scrubby gullies and rivers.

Continue reading “Search for missing walkers on Mount Buffalo”

Vale Bill Brand

Bill Brand, former Officer in Charge of the Search and Rescue Squad, passed away on the morning of Monday the 17th of September 2018.  Bill Brand was one of the founding members of the Search and Rescue Squad and served at all ranks up to Inspector until his retirement in the mid-1980’s.

Bill Brand in uniform

Bill Brand was a great friend and supporter of BSAR.

The funeral service was held at Heritage Funerals, 733 Boronia Rd Wantirna, at 10 am on Tuesday the 2nd October 2018.

Eulogy 

2 October 2018, by Duncan Brookes

Thank you to the Brand family for the opportunity to pay tribute to Bill on behalf of the bushwalkers; “The Bushies”.

Continue reading “Vale Bill Brand”

Victorian Backcountry Ski Festival at Falls Creek 1-2 Sep 2018

BSAR Ski training

I will be representing BSAR at the Backcountry Ski Festival at Falls Creek this weekend 1 – 2 September.

BSAR members participating are free to wear BSAR safety clothing if they wish. 

You can view the extensive program of events and book online here

The program on Saturday includes intros to telemarking, backcountry snow shoe tours, snow camping, navigation and beacon searching with tours in the afternoon

The program on Sunday includes resort skiing (you’ll need a lift ticket)  and 4-5 hour backcountry tours.

I hope to see you there!

Regards, Peter Campbell
Convener, Bush Search and Rescue Victoria

Search for missing person near Bright

Call-out

17:58 Tue 28 Aug 2018.  BSAR search call-out issued for missing person in North East Victoria

09:00 Wed 28 Aug 2018.  Thirteen BSAR members participating in search for missing 86 year old man near Bright.

12:15 Wed 28 AUG 2018.  BSAR involvement in the search for missing person near Bright has concluded.  Missing person found deceased.

2018 Annual Training at Chewton – June 23-24

BSAR’s annual training weekend was held on 23-24 June 2018 at Chewton, with 28 members, 23 prospective members and 6 Police Search and Rescue attending in delightful June weather.

On Saturday our new and prospective members completed an induction session while experienced members participated in group leader scenarios covering hypothermia treatment, stretcher carry and helicopter evacuation.

2018 BSAR training Chewton

The afternoon moved to the focus of this training; navigation. Skills were developed and practiced with the GPS and in bush navigation using map and compass. The evening included a night navigation session to put those skills to the test.

Continue reading “2018 Annual Training at Chewton – June 23-24”

Five feet under

2017 Norway avalanche rescue

A remarkable story of a major avalanche, burial, rescue and survival in Norway.  Great work by Norwegian avalanche rescue teams.  [Five feet under]

Photo: First rescue workers have arrived at the avalanche site. They search alongside the skiing party.